Survey: type 44 break down frequency

Efraim Gavrilovich
Mon, 16 Sep 2002 22:02:57 -0700

After some serious knocking on the wood, I decided to take part in this
survey. Number of times I've been stranded and required a tow truck to get
my '88 5KTQ home or to the shop?  Zero (0) times!
Never ever needed a tow truck in my 8 years of ownership (I bought it in '94
with 80K mi).
It now has 345,000km (216K mi). Once I drove it for 20 miles to garage
without a clutch, about the same distance the other time with broken
alternator. Once lost a turbo coolant hose, spewing coolant all over the
engine compartment,  but got home on my own anyway. Another time lost
radiator (cracked seam), managed to get to garage by frequently stopping
and topping it up with water. Lost radiator hose once but again managed to
avoid towing and got home.
The car still has an original fuel pump, which makes me slightly uneasy, but
I am not sure if I want to replace it just because it's old and bound to
fail sometime soon. It has the original exhaust and muffler. The heater is
not working (heater core needs replacement) and ABS is dead. Otherwise
(knock on wood again) the car takes me to work and back every day without
fail and gives me a lot of pleasure when I occasionally drop the gear in
third and step on the loud pedal. The "senior citizen" still can outrun
almost everything on the road.
This is the best car I ever had and I am planning to keep it for as long as
I can.
Efraim Gavrilovich
1988 5KTQ 345,000km (216K mi), 1.8 Bar
1990 90 124,000km (77K mi) - this bright red "baby Audi" is for sale. E-mail
me, if interested.
Vancouver, Canada

From: "Wallace White" <>
To: "Quattro List" <>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 8:08 AM
Subject: Survey: type 44 break down frequency

> How many times have you wound up stuck on the side of the road in your
> type 44 (5k, 100/200, V8)?
> As you might surmise, I just chalked up another one. In my four years of
> 5k ownership, I've had four (hurray for towing coverage):
> (1) Clutch throw-out bearing, June '98.
> Some of you will remember this one--I'm still thankful for the quick
> help from the list! One day into a cross-country road trip. Took five
> days to get the clutch replaced in Albuquerque. Lesson learned: don't
> buy a car and drive it on a 7000-mile trip the next week. (One might
> think I would've known that... ;) And don't be surprised if the clutch
> pedal breaks a week later!
> (2) Ignition switch, Jan. '99.
> Luckily this happened at home. Relatively painless, since I was biking
> and taking the train to work at the time. Lesson learned: replace the
> switch now if you have to turn the key hard before the starter engages.
> (3) Heater control valve, June '99.
> Created a nice big steam cloud but no apparent lasting problems.
> Happened with four people in the car. Lesson learned: use metal heater
> valves or replace regularly, and carry a Prestone flush-and-fill kit for
> emergency fixes.
> (4) Fuel pump, three days ago.
> Once again, four people in the car (family this time). Lost power while
> on the freeway, made it to the shoulder. Frustratingly, I pre-emptively
> replaced the pump two years ago with a noisy Bosch unit, probably Czech
> built... Embarassment compounded when our second car had problems the
> next day. Lesson learned: TBD.
> Looking back, I've done pretty well after the initial sorting-out. But
> with both of our cars breaking down over the weekend with family in
> town, and the 5k's recent A/C troubles when 300 miles away, it didn't
> take long to wonder if we need at least one car we can really count
> on... we're planning to go from here (SF area) to Utah in a few months
> and my confidence in the 5k is shaky. Even if I had a mechanic go over
> the car thoroughly, I doubt we'd catch things like this fuel pump.
> That said, I still enjoy driving and working on the car and being part
> of this list, and even with the recent bills for A/C, it's a cheap total
> cost of ownership compared to a new car. I spend less on parts than I'd
> pay just on insurance on a new WRX.
> I'm curious to hear how other folks' experiences and decisions have been
> in this regard.
> Thanks,
> Wallace
> '87 5kcstq 190k